Coming out is different for every single person, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s entirely up to you how you choose to come out to your friends and family, and you will want to make sure it happens entirely on your terms.
It may not happen just once. There may be multiple groups of people you wish to involve in the conversation about your identity. For example, you may wish to talk to your immediate family separately from your close friends or work colleagues.
You might be feeling excited about coming out, or you might be wracked with nerves and anxiety. Either way, it’s a significant milestone in life, and you should feel as comfortable as possible when you do it. To make the process more pleasant, here are a few tips to help you come out in your own way.
When it comes to matters of gender and sexuality, it can take years to figure out the identity that feels right to you. It’s important to spend some time discovering and accepting yourself before you can accurately put your identity into words. You may have 100% certainty about how you identify, in which case you may want to shout it from the rooftops right away. But if you are unsure, you may wish to be patient and learn more about yourself before you come out.
Don’t give in to pressure
If you want to come out to the world, by all means do so, but don’t feel pressured. You have no obligation to come out, and it doesn’t change who you are if you decide not to tell anyone right away.
Consider different people
Different people may react differently to your news. For example, it’s common to find that older relatives are less understanding and willing to engage in topics of sexuality or gender identity. In contrast, your close friends or immediate family may be more enthusiastic and encouraging. Bear in mind these differing reactions and consider tailoring your language depending on your audience. It is possible that you might receive some negativity or hurtful language, so be prepared for this possibility and consider whether to talk to this person about their feelings or simply refrain from engaging with them any further.
When you’re coming out, you’re still very much in a learning phase, discovering who you are and what your identity means. A good way to aid your self-discovery is to seek out relevant resources and communities for advice. Read works from LGBTQ+ authors, join groups on social media, or even talk to like-minded people on gay real chat line numbers, for example.
Coming out is an intensely personal decision, and you should never feel pressured or obliged to do so if you’re not comfortable. Make sure the conditions are right, and plan what you are going to say in advance to make sure it happens in the way you envisioned. If you are struggling, there are lots of resources available for LGBTQ+ people to seek guidance.